Local CERT Volunteers Called to Help in Florida

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency has asked for 2,000 volunteers from CERT. Six volunteers from Ingham County are already heading south to Florida to help.

CERT members are trained to respond to emergencies in their neighborhood, but because some Red Cross and FEMA volunteers have been helping in Florida for weeks, they need more volunteers to help continue the effort and provide relief to the workers.

Ronda Oberlin, an Emergency Management Specialist, says because the CERT members have already been trained, they will provide great assistance in Florida.

Larry St. George of St. Johns is one of the six volunteers going to Florida. He says he will be acting as a liaison between people in need and FEMA. He says he's had a lot of various training and is excited to be able to put it to good use. The toughest part about it for him will be leaving his wife and three kids, but he says, he hopes to help other families with children and without a home.

Oberlin expects 12 more CERT volunteers to be deployed this week and if Hurricane Ivan hits, they'll be ready to send more.

There is no charge for CERT training, which is a 20-hour program. If you are interested in joining CERT, call the Volunteer Center of Mid-Michigan at 517-203-5010.